Hillary Clinton has made comments that are sure to come back to haunt her if she runs for president. The former top diplomat used some very undiplomatic language to assail what she calls the “gun culture” — which is a myth to be explained in a bit — and suggests that at some point Americans will have to acquiesce to have our Second Amendment rights curbed.
Clinton waded into the polarizing issue of gun politics during an appearance at the National Council for Behavioral Health conference in Oxon Hill, Maryland, pointing to recent shootings that involved teens who had been playing loud music and chewing gum and a separate incident involving the typing of text messages in a movie theater.
“I think again we’re way out of balance. I think that we’ve got to rein in what has become an almost article of faith that anybody can have a gun anywhere, anytime,” Clinton said. “And I don’t believe that is in the best interest of the vast majority of people. And I think you can say that and still support the right of people to own guns.”
Clinton told attendees at the mental health conference that “at the rate we’re going, we’re going to have so many people with guns everywhere, fully licensed, fully validated” in settings like movie theaters where shootings have arisen over seemingly mundane things like loud gum chewing or cellphone use.
“That’s what happens in the countries I’ve visited where there is no rule of law and no self-control and that is something that we cannot just let go without paying attention,” she said.
What countries are those? Bosnia, where Clinton dishonestly claimed to have come under sniper fire? There was a war on there.
It’s ironic of a Clinton to mention “self-control.”
All 50 states now have concealed carry permit laws, in some cases because courts now read the Second Amendment for what it is — an expression of the civil right to self-defense. A few states have open carry laws. When concealed and open carry laws were first proposed, many on the left predicted that such laws would lead to gunfights over traffic disputes becoming commonplace. Those predictions have not come to pass. Passing concealed and open carry laws has coincided with an overall decline in violent crime.
Clinton’s comments come at a time when, despite headline-generating shootings that dominate news cycles for weeks, violent crime is actually on a long-term decline. Gun violence is also down. More murders are committed in America each year using blunt objects like baseball bats and common objects like knives than rifles. Handguns figure in many murders, but those are overwhelmingly either crimes of passion committed by perpetrators who know their victims, or are gang related. Gang violence tends to be a consequence of turf wars between rival drug networks. Yet Clinton can be counted among those politicians who prefer not to secure the US border with Mexico, across which much of the drug trade is conducted and at which much of that traffic could be choked off. Clinton would prefer to attack her fellow Americans who happen to own guns and abide by the law.
The “gun culture” that Clinton and others consistently criticize is largely a myth. Millions of Americans own guns, and that’s the extent of what they have in common with each other. The culture Clinton is actually assailing, a culture in which petty disputes are settled by violence, tends to live in urban areas where police are distrusted, fatherlessness is rampant and school drop-out rates are high — and gun control laws tend to be the most restrictive.
But Clinton chooses not to direct her criticism at the fragmentation of the family or at drug gangs and a lawless border. If you own a gun even for hunting or self-defense in your home, Hillary Clinton chooses to criticize you.